This post is about to get way too deep. I am about to be way too real. But all I see on social media is the negativity and the effects it has on the people using it. I’ve totally suffered from social media. I’ve also seen how mean humans can be to other humans. It’s ridiculous. I’ve been on both ends. My heart hurts seeing articles and posts about those who have taken their own life. Seeing someone who doesn’t see their own worth. Seeing someone who is so far gone, they no longer see a reason to live. I’m going to be honest. I have been in that position. Here’s my story (This isn’t a light read and not for everyone):
In ninth grade, I began to struggle with my self-image. that is a common thing. Jr High was the WORST. I think a lot of people might be able to relate. Even though I was playing competitive soccer and was actually pretty fit, I still struggled with the way I looked. I felt like the boys I liked, never liked me back. Why?
Slowly, I fell into a new crowd. I started liking a different group of boys. I started hanging with a different crowd of girls. These boys were giving me attention. I had never felt noticed like that. For a moment, it was bliss. I felt so cool! I was surrounded by attention.
Long story short, I did a lot of things I regret. If I said no to anything, I was told so many things. “It’s not like you haven’t done things like that before.” “I didn’t like you anyways.” “I’m as good as it gets for you.” “I’ll just find someone else.” “You’re not even worth it.” My heart was in such a bad place. My mind constantly wondered why I wasn’t good enough. Why was I so ugly? Why couldn’t I be like all the other girls? I WAS IN 9TH GRADE. As a 14 year old, I should have been worrying about my blue eyeshadow or my Foods class. But I couldn’t stop. I hated myself. I hated the way I looked, the way I walked, the way I sounded. I worried about every little thing. I couldn’t sleep. The same people I was involved with, accused me of being gross, even though they were doing the same things. For some reason, they decided to put me down for it. Why was I different?
I was losing friends, I was fighting with my parents, and I felt disgusting. How did I get here? I have never felt so cold or so alone. I felt as though I was in a different world, watching myself make bad decision after bad decision. I figured I had already gone this far. Why stop now?
I asked myself WHY all the time. Eventually, I started asking different “WHY” questions. Why am I who I am? Why won’t the pain stop? Why am I even alive? Why do I even try? Why don’t I just stop trying?
Those WHY questions began to become more frequent. I began to count the number of people who wouldn’t miss me if I was gone. I would look around in class and think, “I need to just disappear.” I felt worthless, I felt ugly, I felt like no one genuinely cared about me.
So I tried to take my own life. And it wasn’t the first time.
At 14, I wasn’t old enough to even drive. I hadn’t been to a school dance. But I had decided I was done living. The darkness that overcame me that day was indescribable. I was numb, not even acknowledging pain anymore. I was done. I searched for reasons to turn back, but I couldn’t. In my mind, I was already gone. I have never been so terrified. Why didn’t anyone notice that I had changed? Didn’t anyone care? Did no one love me?
Without more detail, right before that moment, I was surrounded by such an intense, almost tangible warmth. I literally felt like I was being hugged by the sun and my heart just stopped. For a moment, the world was frozen. A voice filled my head. “You are not alone.”
Through my entire experience, I had lost all faith. I swore that Heavenly Father would never forgive me for what I had done. After feeling like my friends and family were gone, I believed that God wasn’t going to help me. But looking back, He was there the entire way. On that day, I was surrounded by His loving spirit. Something touched my heart so softly, and suddenly I knew I wasn’t alone. He was there and He loved me despite my flaws. I started to put together pieces. The little moments or people that helped me stay almost afloat. I regret a lot of things, but I wouldn’t change my past. I am who I am now because of what I went through. I am reminded every single day of my blessings and the opportunity I have to help other people.
Whether you are religious or not, suicide is not a joke. My heart hurts when I see boys, girls, men, women, moms, dads, ANYONE who is struggling. Because everyone has their demons and no two demons are the same. You have to recognize this. Social media makes it easy to put up a wall and be a jerk if you want to be. It’s easy to say things behind a keyboard. It’s easy to pretend you are someone you are not. It’s easy to pretend like you are okay when you are not.
I want you to know that you are worth it. This isn’t some cliche, bulls**t post. This is real life. Everyone has their struggles, but everyone also has a future. It’s up to you and it’s up to us to work towards that future. We have to love and support each other, no matter the race, religion, gender, sexual orientation. We are human beings. We have hearts. We have dreams and we ALL have a purpose.
You want to know why I choose life? I choose life because I want to build a better future, not only for myself, but for my generations to come. I choose life because I am strong and have a purpose. I choose life. And I choose you. No, i’m not quoting Pokemon. I’m choosing you to share your story. I’m choosing you to be an advocate for change. I’m choosing you to help our generation be a voice for strength and love.
Depression, anxiety, suicide… it’s not a joke. It’s a real thing individuals face. Do not take the subject lightly. I struggle with my depression and anxiety every single day. Don’t tell me to get over it or “be happy”. I am trying every day. I work hard every day. You are amazing human beings with talent and an insane amount of hope. I believe in you, so let’s continue to believe in each other. Instead of hate, let’s hype each other up.
You are beautiful and you are worth it. We are here for each other.
Utah Suicide Prevention Hotline
I want to hear how you are going to make a difference this week. Send me an email. Leave a comment. Let’s make a change.
Thank you for listening.